Dracula: fearsome skipper of the Halloween XV
The fantasy XV is back and this side is more vile, more gruesome, more gnarly than the scariest, cabbage-eared rugby player you have ever laid eyes on.
In a particularly objective selection meeting, several players had drawbacks noted beside their names, and as always there is scope for debate.
1. Yeti – combines the hairy nature of the front row with the height and power needed for the modern day loose-head.
2. Cyclops – has one eye on the ball at all times during the set-piece – and all those years living in a cave has prepared him for the dark recesses of the front row.
3. The Blob – obvious choice for such a monstrous front row combination. Shorter and stockier than the loose-head, The Blob also has the advantage of being able to absorb any big engages and turn them to his benefit. Drawback: not good at getting around the park. Poor hands.
4. Zombie – tall, strong, slow and somewhat simple, Zombie is the atypical second row, but he will literally rip you limb from limb in contact.
5. The Mummy – obvious candidate for number 2 jumper in the lineout with extra height and long arms. Fringe benefits also include a never-ending supply of tape and strapping for the team.
6. The Boogey man – the Richard Hill of the team. Doesn’t show up on the radar much, but strikes fear into the heart of any man when he pops up at the breakdown unannounced. Extra stealthy option in the lineout.
7. Werewolf – scraps like a dog at the ruck and is always aggressive into contact. Drawback: dubious discipline and availability – sometimes bitey and only available once in a blue moon.
8. Frankenstein’s Monster – a unit at the back of the scrum with a no nonsense attitude and the ability to take knocks. Drawback: prone to being struck by lightning.
9. Ghost – elusive and nippy around the breakdown. Slips through tackles easily.
10. Dracula (c) – Very experienced performer with the added bonus of magic powers – an advantage at 10. Drawback: can often go AWOL in the game due to an inability to control his aggression and blood lust. Specialist gum shield required. Not good with midday kick-offs.
11. The Headless Horseman – his speed down the wing is facilitated by his eerie spectral horse. Drawback: can be a liability if he loses his head.
12. Medusa – the snake-haired Gorgon gives extra options at 12. Her steely glare can leave opponents turned to stone in defence. Continues the tradition of rubbish hairstyles amongst the backs.
13. Alien – his acid tongue and quick feet leave opponents in his wake. Resilient – will always get up when you least expect it.
14. Witch – fleet footed down the wing, especially with the aid of a flying broom. Makes a good post match brew.
15. The Banshee – unpredictable when joining the attacking line, but she’s very safe under the high ball and the ref will always hear her when she calls for the mark.